Harvard Business School has been studying the difference in success for people of similar backgrounds for over 30 years. Their studies find that three percent of people are successful, 30% are moderately successful and 67% just exist. The significant difference for the three percent who are successful is that they have written down, very specific goals. The 30% who are moderately successful have a general idea of where they are going but don't have formalized goals. The rest are happy to watch the world go by.

Here's the interesting part: The three percent who have written goals make more money as a group than the entire 97% who are either moderately successful or are just watching the world go by.

Even more interesting to me is that people in the 30% moderately successful category only need to put in a small effort to jump into the three percent group. The Harvard studies go on to report that the secret behind the extra little effort is developing habits and strategies that support the goals you set.

This same pattern holds true for fitness entrepreneurs. The top three percent are 100% committed to doing whatever it takes to take their business to the next level. They have established their goals in writing and execute all the steps to achieve them in spite of the obstacles that inevitably come up. The 30% who are moderately successful are still making progress but sometimes feel stuck and stagnate.

In order to reach the next milestone in our personal training careers, it's essential that we define exactly what that next level looks like.

Are you creating a career as a personal trainer based solely on your time and energy to develop an income, or are you leveraging employees or independent contractors to enhance your income?

There are benefits and challenges to both, and clarity on where your growth path is headed is critical. You can certainly leverage your own time and make a very comfortable living, and you can also create a nice income through hiring, training and managing other trainers. But the two paths are very different and require different approaches.

Once you know where you're heading, you must put in the time and energy to make your lofty goals a reality. For those who've achieved success in the fitness industry, there's no "a-ha" in that statement. For newer trainers, sometimes it's easy to fall prey to the latest "Make Seven Figures" downloadable e-book on the Internet. Be leery of buying the "proven formula" when its promises are quick and easy. Focused effort is a necessary ingredient of success. As Napoleon Hill says, "Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit."

Throughout 2009, I'm going to share how you can focus your entrepreneurial drive to achieve better results in the following eight areas: mindset, sales, marketing, leadership, people management, business systems, planning and enjoying what you've created as a career-focused fitness professional.


How much of your time would you estimate you spend growing your business?